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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThe Exploration Thereof... (Non-Euclidean Geometry)
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Xonatron
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« on: April 10, 2017, 01:10:46 pm »

The Exploration Thereof... is not a game. Not yet, anyways. It is just the exploration of non-Euclidean geometry. Perhaps I will stumble upon a game during my exploration.


Latest Video:





Original Video:





Web:



Dates:

I started development last night, on April 9th, 2017.


Naming Convention:

I had no name. It was just non-Euclidean geometry, and the exploration thereof, hence the name: The Exploration Thereof...


Purpose:

To explore non-Euclidean geometry:


To explore game design that encourages exploration. A far cry from my bullet hell shmup games. It should be interesting (for me).


Inspirations:

Listed from oldest to most recent:

  • Braid
  • Antichamber
  • The Witness
  • The Beginner's Guide
  • etc.

Senseless notes about all these games:

I have beat Braid about 5 times, including finding all the stars and unlocking all achievements, which means beating it in less than 45 minutes. I wrote a "Braid Explained" post (spoiler warning). I talked to Jonathan Blow about why Braid has a speed run. I also found a cool but pointless trick. EDIT: I just beat Braid again last weekend, showing it off to a friend. There is still so much for me to learn from this game!

I played Antichamber again just last night. To inspire myself.

Since I am sharing all my videos, I will show I played The Witness too! I still need to finish it. Did you ever not play an amazing game because you want to ensure you devote quality time for it? That's my excuse here.

I finally played The Beginner's Guide a few nights ago. This is what spawned my inspiration to play with non-Euclidean Geometry, or rather to play with unconventional game design.


Thoughts:

My strength is coding, not game design. So, I figured I should play to my strengths and try to code cool things -- like demoscene effects (Second Reality, etc.) -- rather than design cool things. So my game would be more similar to Antichamber or Braid than The Beginner's Guide or The Witness. I think.


Engine:

  • Unity 5.4.0f3


Assets:



Music:

Music by Imphenzia, the same musician to compose our Decimation X and Duality ZF soundtracks, among many of our prototype games.


Feedback:

All feedback is welcome. If you have an idea, I can almost surly test it out.

« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 06:54:11 am by Xonatron » Logged

Matthew Doucette, Xona Games
- devlogs: xona.com/tigsource
Xonatron
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 01:12:47 pm »

I cannot link to more than two videos in one post, so I'll post the extra videos here:






« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 05:09:28 pm by Xonatron » Logged

Matthew Doucette, Xona Games
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Xonatron
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2017, 05:07:46 pm »

The flat ground in the previous videos did not make sense as it was Euclidean Geometry. I modified it to exist in the same non-Euclidean world as the rest of the objects:



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Xonatron
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 06:49:49 pm »

Two changes:

1. I created a black backdrop to address being able to see to infinity in 3D. In a 2D game, like Bastion, where the level creates itself as you walk into it, the boarders of your screen cut off your view. In 3D, I do not have that luxury. So, black sky box.

2. As the pieces of the level fade away, they jiggle (not giggle!). This is done with Perlin noise*.




*P.S. I can tell the Perlin noise routines in Unity are not well done, in the sense they tend to hit the 0.0f values often. They may be well done in terms of optimizations, however. I could analyze it more and see if it they interpolated slopes (which is Perlin noise) or interpolated values (which is not Perlin noise, but more commonly coded). Only the former has second derivative smoothness, which would matter if it were a bump-mapped texture that is light. Anyways, it makes no difference for my usage.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 06:56:47 pm by Xonatron » Logged

Matthew Doucette, Xona Games
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2017, 04:57:24 pm »

A few updates:

1. I added music. It's done by Imphenzia, the same musician to compose our Decimation X and Duality ZF soundtracks, among many of our prototype games.

2. I tested emerging blocks from below, rather than from above. It was hard to see, as the floor can easily disappear behind itself (like the Earth does)!

3. Variance in emergence of blocks: The ground blocks emerge from the bottom. The floor and ceiling blocks emerge from the top. It's hard to tell, but if you look, you can see it. I will have to play with settings more. It is hard to make things emerge in a cool way without obfuscation.

4. Optimization 1) I optimized the "engine" in Unity. The collision with the floor is no longer calculated per block, but instead per (invisible) floor. This will have to change if the game no longer has a flat floor. What will likely happen then is the same optimization will be used per floor.

5. Optimization 2) I optimized the "engine" again by removing shadows, both Cast Shadows and Receive Shadows were turned off for all cubes. The optimizations allowed me to make the level much much bigger and still hit 60fps in debug mode in 1920x1080p.

6. Optimization 3) I optimized the "engine" again by removing the giggle, that was performed using Perlin noise. It was a lot of calculations, three calls of Perlin noise per cube, one for each dimension/axis. It is more optimized now, but not sure if it looks better.




All in all, I don't like the direction it has gone it. I like the previous videos more. What do you think?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 06:15:51 pm by Xonatron » Logged

Matthew Doucette, Xona Games
- devlogs: xona.com/tigsource
ChemiKhazi
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2017, 06:03:28 pm »

This looks really neat! Following along this devlog.
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Xonatron
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2017, 05:41:31 am »

ChemiKhazi,

Thank you. I hope to continue to explore what I can do with this idea.
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Matthew Doucette, Xona Games
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Xonatron
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2017, 03:52:18 pm »

No visual update, but I pushed this project to a git repository. Feels good to have it under source control as well as backed up additionally. I really have to do this more often so it becomes second nature to me. I created a "how to" guide -- and updated it with more detail just now -- in case anyone else wishes to learn. Feel free to give feedback:

Another Way to Create a GitHub Repository
http://xona.com/2017/02/04.html
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 05:20:44 pm by Xonatron » Logged

Matthew Doucette, Xona Games
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Juliano
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2017, 04:10:44 pm »

This looks very promising! I'm following!
It's nice to find someone who also starts with a prototype and doesn't know where it will take. It's like the project is presenting itself. Smiley

I see this technique branching on a bunch of different gameplay ideas, like inverting the effect or increasing the rescale exponentially. It gets me thinking also about how it would work with different kind of shapes like spheres and etc. Nice!
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Xonatron
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2017, 05:26:24 pm »

Juliano,

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I am on the same page as you! It can be a beautiful thing to just discovery what is really already out there.

I will have to explore some various shapes, and ideas. I wish to have various materials react differently. Perhaps collectibles you desire are not affected at all -- and seem easily obtainable -- but the walls block your path. So chasing your ambitions have the path reveal itself to be more complex that upon first thought.

(I could try different shapes too, as you suggest.)

P.S. Did you work on Horizon Chase? Such an amazing game!
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Matthew Doucette, Xona Games
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Juliano
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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2017, 07:52:39 am »

Hey Xonatron! I have not worked on Horizon Chase, but I'm glad to hear that you liked the game! We are very proud of it here at Aquiris. It's really cool to discover other devs that played HC or our other games.

I just realized that your approach to gameplay using geometry reminds me about Manifold Garden! I think it's a great reference
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Xonatron
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2017, 09:53:53 am »

Juliano,

Such a small world!

Ah, I know about Manifold Garden! I never made the connection, but maybe I am just interested in basic geometry. I was a huge fan of flat-shaded low-poly art before it was cool, type of thing!
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Matthew Doucette, Xona Games
- devlogs: xona.com/tigsource
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